GALLERY
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Greta 1
Photo, b/w, 100cm x 100cm, 2005
  Greta 2
Photo, b/w, 100cm x 100cm, 2005

Cees’ Mother. Fiction And Reality

Doris Wintgens Hötte

In 2006 the Netherlands will commemorate the centenary of Rembrandt’s birth, in Leiden in 1606. Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden will organize three exhibitions on Rembrandt. The first one entitled: Rembrandt’s Mother , myth and reality. Rembrandt painted and etched many works in wich an old woman figures who although scholars are not in total agreement is believed to be his mother. As a contemporary counterpart to this exhibition the museum plan to show new work by Krijnen.

Being invited for the exhibition in Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal in the close of the exhibition Rembrandt and his mother, Krijnen started to read about Rembrandt and to study the portraits Rembrandt made of his mother. He was especially impressed by the way Rembrandt painted or etched his (so called) mother just the way she was: how he managed to suggest her old skin in a very painterly quality. In particular it was the etchings made around 1630 of his mother which intrigued Krijnen most: they bare witness of a close affinity between Rembrandt and his mother. On these etchings Rembrandt’s mother must have been around 60 years old.

Inspired by these etchings Krijnen made photographs of his mother - who is also in her sixties - in which he focussed on the easthetic values and painterly qualities of elderliness. At first he created a kind of a fairy tale for her to overcome all the difficulties of her divorce. Now the divorce has been settled and she has been able, through her son, to come out as a strong emancipated woman, now it was time to concentrate on how she really is. To give an intimate portrait of her, including the features of a certain age. The huge colourful and glossy photographs he had made previously, have given way to smaller, more intimate, even black and white photographs.

Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal Leiden, The Netherlands, Nov ‘05 - March ‘06
Institut Néerlandais, Paris, France, May - July ‘06